Professor Dawn Bennett

Professor Dawn Bennett

2016 | OLT National Senior Teaching Fellow

Curtin University | Profile

From theory to practice: Equipping and enabling Australia’s educators to embed employability across higher education

Fellowship years: 2016 - 2018 (year due to complete)

Abstract: Employability has received significant attention in recent years. However, whilst the characteristics of employability are generally understood, the challenge of embedding employability development within higher education programmes remains in critical need of attention. Defining employability as ‘the ability to find, create and sustain work and learning across lengthening working lives and multiple work settings’, this Fellowship leads a strategic programme of change across higher education. Thus, the Fellowship responds to the demand for change within higher education (teaching) and among students and graduates (learning) by operationalising programme-wide employability development. The Fellowship emphasises the cognitive and social aspects of employability through which learners develop as individuals, professionals and social citizens. In collaboration with a scholarly community of experts, the Fellowship adopts a team-based approach to build the sector’s capacity to prepare graduates who are active and intentional in the personal practices that support their work and learning.

Fellowship discipline: Interdisciplinary

Reinvigorating student learning by embedding learning and teaching strategies that enhance identity development

Fellowship years: 2010 - 2012

Abstract: This fellowship will reinvigorate learning among higher education students by embedding learning and teaching strategies that enhance identity development. The premise underpinning the fellowship is that students’ deep engagement with curricular content is directly affected by the perceived relevance of this learning to their future lives and careers. Thus, the development of students’ personal and professional identities — salient identities — is crucial to student success. The fellowship brings together an international cohort of academics, and extends an existing collaboration and strong research base. By incorporating case studies of graduate students, it addresses underexplored areas of transition; namely tertiary pathways from undergraduate study to graduate study, and from graduate study to professional life. The fellowship will: increase understanding of students’ identity development; refine tools and strategies; provide good practice exemplars for transferable implementation; create an international community of practice to promote sectoral engagement, heighten awareness and invite shared ownership; and engage experts to provide ongoing commentary and evaluation.

Fellowship discipline: Cross-disciplinary